Good morning friends and family and thank you for joining J and L Ministries for part 6 of Who Are We In Christ from the book of 1 Corinthians. We thank those joining us live on Pal talk, those who may be reading this message on Cross Roads Fellowship sites, Mylook Online, Lokey Sisters, J and L Ministries site, our new u-tube channel, or any of the other social media sites. Glory to God!
Leanna and I just came back this past Friday from a weeks getaway just off the coast of Maine. It was a time that we did not hear phones ringing non-stop or a dog barking at every person that walked by the house. It kept me away from hours of computer chores and it was great. Leanna and I had a chance to enjoy each others company without the everyday distractions. It also gave me a chance to try to hear what direction the Lord would have us go with this ministry He has blessed Leanna and I with.
I say try, because even though I did pray, I did not hear anything. It does get frustrating at times when you get all excited thinking that God is going to open up new doors and you wait and wait and think, "Ok, now is the time" and you hear nothing. So I'm thinking that maybe what He has had us do is still the plan. Praise God.
If everyone could please turn to 1 Corinthians 2:9. We'll pick up with the last verse where we left off last week and verse 10.
For those who joined us or read or watched last week's message, we read where Apostle Paul talked about his preaching. We saw that Paul was addressing the Corinth church and us. The true believer needs to be careful of what and who we listen to and as we continue, Paul will go deeper into this.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 KJV (9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
I think it's important for us to notice that Paul didn't stop with his statements in verse 9. It's true that we've never perceived the glorious things of God through our own knowledge. Praise the Lord, but that doesn't mean that we can't walk in the wisdom of God. We can, if we allow the Holy Spirit to give us revelation knowledge. I want us to look at a couple of verses in the gospels. If you could please turn to Luke 2:26 and John 6:44.
Luke 2:25-26 KJV And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. (26) And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
John 6:44-51 KJV No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. (46) Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. (47) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (48) I am that bread of life. (49) Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. (50) This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. (51) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Jesus Christ, the true Bread, is that to the soul which bread is to the body, nourishing and supporting the spiritual life. Our bodies could live better without food than our souls could without Christ. Those who have received this Bread are to be the distributors of it to other hungry souls.
Jeremiah 10:23 KJV O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Church, we learned from the beginning of this series, the Lord didn't give His wisdom to man. Instead, man was made to be dependent on God to impart His supernatural wisdom as needed. Amen!
People on their own are incapable of receiving the wisdom of God, as 1Co 2:9 describes, but those who submit themselves to God have access to the wisdom of God through the Holy Spirit. If we look back a few weeks ago, we saw what Paul, being led by the Holy Spirit, said about the unsaved.
1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Friends, is anyone getting where we're going with this? You and I are nothing without God. How many times have we tried to go about life on our own? I ask even those who might be involved in ministry. What happens when we try to go about things that sound like it might be of God, but when we pursue that thing we fall on our backsides? Is God speaking to anyone? I've been there. We want to do all the things that we can for God, but it isn't where He has led us. Amen someone?
1 Corinthians 2:11 KJV For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Paul was saying that in the same way that no one really knows the deep thoughts of others except those individuals themselves, likewise, no one really knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Therefore, people must be dependent upon the Holy Spirit to receive the wisdom of God in their lives.
Think of it like this. Often times when I am away from the computer, away from friends that may be visiting and I am just staring into space, usually I'm thinking about a sermon I'm writing, possibly a prayer request, things that might make one of the sites better, the garden, a surprise for my beautiful bride, or whatever the case may be. Leanna will notice that I'm quiet, or know that I'm in deep thought about something. She can't read my mind, although there are times that it seems she has, as we come up with the same questions or statements at the same time. Praise the Lord.
Turn to Acts 19:1. Church, I'm going to bring up some verses this morning that I want to help us all get a better understanding of what Paul was getting across, but not going to go into great lengths on these scriptures. I do urge any of you who are seeing this for the first time or those wanting a better understanding, to read on your own this week from the verses we'll be reading from. Or drop me a note.
Christians who have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit can have some revelation knowledge, but it will be limited. One of the greatest evidences that people have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the tremendous amount of God's wisdom that becomes available to them. Amen someone?
Acts 19:1-7 KJV And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, (2) He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (3) And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. (4) Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. (5) When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (6) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (7) And all the men were about twelve.
Is anyone getting a revelation of these passages we've looked at of where Apostle Paul was teaching the people of Corinth? What God is teaching us today? Anyone? Praise God!
Check these next two verses friends. 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 KJV Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
As I read these scriptures, I think about many churches that I have attended throughout my life. Remember last week we discussed dynamic churches and dynamic preachers and the same with the music, light shows and man-made atmosphere that it seems most church goers love. Where's God in all this? Now don't tune me out and hear me saying that God isn't in any of these churches. I didn't say that, but for me, I want God's presence around me always. I know that I know that it doesn't take fog machines, music blaring, fancy light shows and a pastor dressed to the hilt yelling, "Shundi, Rundi, Who tied the bow-tie".
Now for those who are thinking that I'm against music. Wrong. I was a disc jockey for a radio station and had my own DJ service with a collection of CD's that many would be envious of. I had the state of the art lights and trusses and fog machines with different flavored fog juice. And church, do you know what? I never felt God's presence during these events. Not once!
The truths of the Gospel and the power of God that these truths release can only be imparted through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The wisdom of man, regardless of how eloquent it is, cannot convey the life of God. As I said last week, are these preachers teaching about our Lord and Savior and the cross He died on? Are they teaching His blood that washes our sins away? Are they teaching on sin? What about the power of His resurrection?
Much of the preaching of the Gospel today is done in man's wisdom. It's impressive to the carnal mind, but it leaves the spirit starving for the touch of God. Can I hear an amen someone?
A sermon message that I'll never forget is from the late David Wilkerson called A Call to Anguish. If you've never heard this sermon, I strongly urge you to listen. You can find it on u-tube. For those who have heard it, maybe another listen is what's needed. Church, what you and I need to understand is the greatest need among ministers today isn'nt to have more education, but to receive the revelation knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Only words spoken by the Spirit of God can reach the spirit of man. Spiritual thoughts have to be spoken with spiritual words. Glory to God!
This next verse is very familiar to what we read in the beginning of this series. 1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
These two verses seems to get tempers to flare. What do you suppose Paul was saying here? To me it's obvious. Amen? Who is the natural man that's mentioned here? The natural man includes, but is not limited to, all people who are not born again. It literally means "a human being governed by his own natural, human powers and not by the Spirit of God."
God can't be criticized for carnal man not having His wisdom. God has made His wisdom available through Christ, but the carnal mind won't receive it. Do we get this? Turn to John 3 please, and we'll see what Jesus said. Spiritual truths can only be perceived by a person's spirit.
John 3:1-18 KJV There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (9) Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? (10) Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (11) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. (12) If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? (13) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Church, do we get this? Therefore, it's impossible for those who are walking in the vanity of their minds to ever understand the things of God.
The Word of God is a spiritual book, written under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It wasn't written to the head, but to the innermost part of the heart. This is why some people find the Bible so hard to understand. They're trying to comprehend it using only their minds. The Word of God has to inspire our hearts before it can enlighten our heads. Praise Jesus. I'm going to read only five verses of Ephesians chapter 4, but I think each of us during this week need to study the whole chapter. Glory to God.
Ephesians 4:17-21 KJV This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (18) Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (19) Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (20) But ye have not so learned Christ; (21) If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Let's look at the last 2 verses of Chapter 2 in Corinthians and we will finish up.
1 Corinthians 2:15-16 KJV (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
I love these next two verses, but I think it's important that we get a thorough understanding of what they're saying. When Paul says the natural person in the previous verse, this is describing people who aren't governed by their own natural human powers, but are filled with and governed by the Spirit of God.
"But brother Jim, doesn't the Bible say we should not judge"? We could do a whole Bible study on this, and maybe soon we'll get there.
Matthew 7:1-2 KJV Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
The word judge can mean a variety of different things. When we look at the verse in 1 Corinthians , according to Srong's Concordance, it means to "scrutinize" or determine.
Paul was stating that a spiritual person is someone who is operating with the wisdom of God and is therefore qualified to discern people and situations correctly. 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us why that's so. It's because no one understands the way God thinks except for the Holy Spirit and those whom the Holy Spirit teaches. This is the same thing that 1Corinthians 2:11 says. Therefore, no unspiritual person is able to judge a person ruled by the Spirit of God.
Friends, there are many who just don't get this and to me, it's milk. Someone hearing this or reading may be asking, "What should you do after hearing a message like this"? But if you're still among those who don't embrace the cross as the very wisdom of God and who don't welcome the things of the Spirit into your life, then the point of the text for you is an urgent warning and invitation. Amen?
Friends, before we close this morning, I want you to consider what a hopeless condition you're in without Christ. Consider how perfectly suited the gospel is to your need, the Lord of glory dying in the place of sinners, you and I. Consider how dangerous it is to be held back by pride, the unimaginably glorious future that God has for those who love Him.
Friends, those who belong to Christ need to forsake pride, drop the props of self-exaltation, look to Christ, believe, and be saved. I know someone needed to hear this. If it was you, I do hope that you'll contact us.
Friends, I sure hope that this message today spoke to someone. I know that we looked at many verses this morning, but there are times that we have to compare scripture with other scriptures to rightly divide the truth.
Next week as we continue with this series in 1 Corinthians, we'll look at some of the immorality that was creeping into the church as it has landed in many of the churches here in America and seems to be just part of the norm.
For those here with us on Paltalk, thank you for joining and as soon as I stop this recording, I'll open the room for questions and comments. For those reading or watching this video, we thank you and ask you to please share this and would like to hear comments from you.
May the Lord bless you,